Study Break: Vierra’s 2016 Oscar predictions

The Oscars will be on Feb. 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Google

Alex Oliveira / ©A.M.P.A.S.

The Oscars will be on Feb. 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Google

Christmas is the time for giving…out nominations. Yes. It’s that time of year.

Critics are already predicting who will receive that naked golden statue come Oscar night, and I’ve decided to throw my two cents in. These are my picks for the main categories.

Best Picture: “Spotlight”

Why It Should Win: “Spotlight” has been winning over critics since it first premiered and it’s still going strong. The film grabs you from the start and never lets go. It moves like wildfire, engaging the audience and making them feel connected to the real story that’s being told. For more on the film, check out my review.

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)

Why He Should Win: The race for best actor is tight. With five actors who will no doubt fight their way to grabbing a nomination, including Eddie Redmayne and Leonardo DiCaprio, it is Fassbender who may just walk away with the award come Oscar night. Although Fassbender is not the first to play Steve Jobs, his performance is so natural that the role seems to have been written for him. He may not look like Jobs but it doesn’t matter. It’s a powerful performance that needs to be awarded.

Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)

Why She Should Win: In a category filled with top-notch actresses and even though it’s not as tight as the male counterpart, it’s still hard to tell who will make the cut and who will be snubbed. I’m betting on Ronan, who has already won at the New York Film Critics Association and Hollywood Film Awards. Her quiet performance carries the film and will ultimately break your heart. This is a testament to her strengths as an actress, especially at the age of 21.

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”)

Why He Should Win: The film, Spotlight,” is basically an ensemble piece so it may be difficult to pick just one actor out of the cast to win. With Keaton losing best actor last year, it would be nice to see him take this award but ultimately it’s Ruffalo who steals my vote. Yes, the Incredible Hulk himself. Ruffalo is impressive as Michael Rezendes, the dedicated reporter who will stop at nothing to get the story. There are layers to his character and Ruffalo brilliantly showcases every one of them.

Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

Why She Should Win: One of the highlights of Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” is the presence of Kate Winslet. The Oscars love Winslet and here she outshines even Fassbender himself. Not to mention she has an accent. The last time she sported one she ended up winning.

Best Director: Steven Spielberg (“Bridge of Spies”)

Why It Should Win: Everything Spielberg touches turns to gold and “Bridge of Spies” is just that. He knows how to direct his actors and his camera technique is one to admire. He transports audiences to the Cold War with its use of colors and shadows, adding bleakness to the already bleak world surrounding his characters. For more, check out my review. Since Spielberg hasn’t won the award since 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan,” it would be nice if the academy let him have this one.

Best Original Screenplay: Josh Spencer and Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)

Why It Should Win: This is my favorite award of the night because it’s my dream to win one of these one day. There are two screenplays that I see becoming victorious in this award: “Inside Out” and “Spotlight.” Both films shine but I put my money on “Spotlight;” it is a true masterpiece for journalists everywhere.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”)

Why It Should Win: “Steve Jobs” has been losing critics’ interest lately, which is sad because Sorkin’s script is by far one of the best scripts I’ve read. Sorkin is known for his wordy fast-talking dialogue but his words come off naturally. So naturally in fact, that it sounds like the actors are improvising every word. Nothing is filler within the script; every word, every moment is needed and if you took even one thing out, the whole movie would break apart.

Best Animation: “Inside Out”

Why It Should Win: This is Pixar at its finest. A sweet, emotional roller coaster ride through the mind of Riley, an 11-year-old girl, as she moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. “Inside Out” is an original concept that features an all-star cast as the emotions inside Riley’s head. There have only been three animated movies to find themselves nominated for both best picture and best animated picture and “Inside Out” may find itself falling into both categories.

Christmas came early for some and others just got pieces of coal. Let’s remember though, these predictions don’t always mean big things are on the way at the Oscars, so it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

Erin Vierra can be reached at [email protected] or @hippycinephile on Twitter.